Anhkim Pho

Document Type

Honors Thesis


The pattern of social media and smartphone use is steadily rising, along with the levels of anxiety and other mental illnesses. This study investigated 1) whether there was a relationship between social media, smartphone use, and anxiety and 2) whether gender moderated these relationships. Questionnaire data were gathered from university students (N = 100) aged 17 to 25 and correlation analyses were run to examine the relationships. The study found that there was greater Twitter use, r(98) = -0.217, p = 0.031, and phone calling associated with less interaction anxiety, r(98) = -0.292, p = 0.003. However, texting was associated with more trait, r(98) = 0.208, p = 0.038, state, r(98) = 0.292, p = 0.003, and shared content anxiety, r(98) = 0.194, p = 0.053. Additionally, there may be gender discrepancies in smartphone use; within females, more texting was related to greater trait, r(77) = 0.231, p = 0.005 and state, r(77) = 0.311, p = 0.040, anxiety and more calling was related to less interaction anxiety, r(77) = -0.318, p = 0.004. Whereas males were more active on YouTube, which was associated with greater social interaction r(19) = 0.452, p = 0.039, privacy concern r(19) = 0.503, p = 0.020, interaction, r(19) = 0.208, p = 0.038, and self-evaluation anxiety, r(19) = 0.511, p = 0.018. Therefore, females may use texting as a way to cope with anxiety. In contrast, the use of platforms like YouTube may increase anxiety among males.

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